The Autism talk with Friends.

“I don’t  like him.” “He is mean,” were the words that tore my heart out and stomped it to the ground . This was coming from a friend’s son who I had invited over for a holiday party. He was talking about my autistic 5 year old son. My son was up in one of the trees doing his own thing ignoring the rest of the children at the party as is his normal way of dealing with too many people. He ignores or does his own thing, sometimes coming out of his own world to interact but still doing it in his own way, with his own idea of boundaries that he will not cross. Such as play the games like everybody else in tag, putting down the sprinkler while everybody yells at him to because he is entranced with the workings of the sprinkler, or stop pushing children on the swing after he believes he is doing what is social correct as he was asked to push them. These social cues are lost on him and other children usually can not understand why he is not like them and do like they do. So they don’t like him and call him mean, where there is not a hurtful bone in my son’s body. We actually called him the “yoga baby” because of his extremely peaceful nature. This nature did not start to worry me until he would just walk away from being pushed around by another child at the park. It made me worry about his self confidence. So with that little back ground you can imagine how I react to a non delayed child judging my son, especially as this child had been in his life since babyhood.  Mommy Bear shoved to the surface, but as they are both important to me it is more important to me that I bring them together then tear them apart by saying “fine you don’t understand then you don’t play together.”  Instead I sat him down and our conversation went like this:

me: “See that tree he is in.”

child: “yeah”

me: “what do you see”

child: ” A tree”

me: ” Well he see’s leafs, bark, bugs, pointy sticks, as well as hears the rattle of the branches, us having fun, the birds singing, the smell of the BBQ and a lot more. All of this is knocking on his head wanting his attention while you also say something.  His mind is just a little bit busy, but if you wait he will get to you.”

Child: “oh”

me:”understand”

child: “yeah, his head is busy.”

me: “yep, he likes you and your are his friend, you just have a special way of communicating. It is secret.”

child: “yep.”

And off this child who had broke my heart went and mended it the next second while he ofcourse yelled at my son to get down, waited for him and then dragged him off to get more cupcakes. Why I am sharing this story is because it is important to have our autistic children socialize and interact with others but it is also important for parents to try to explain how their child is so others can understand them. This is not always easy and can feel heart wrenching. But in the end you are the adult, your job is to guide your child through the trails and tribulations they may have. Making sure their friends know the real them is one of them.

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